My uncle uses this line of attack in our correspondence as well, when discussing the Tea Party, or conservatives in general. He describes them as afraid of change, feeling threatened, and attributes their inability to get on board to this fear. It comes up often in commentary coming out of the NYT or other thoughtful observers of the American scene. It is one of those ideas that just circulates on the left unquestioned. It even inspires some pity in them - those poor saps aren't necessarily so bad, they're just like children, or demented old people, who must be led around gently by the adults in the family.I and a number of my fellow local conservatives in the area have dealt with this attitude over the years, with the most blatant demonstrations of this mindset having come from the same half dozen or so, dyed in the wool followers of Marx, two of which are faculty at a couple of our local institutions of higher learning. (That automatically tells me that they haven't a clue how things work in the real world as they are shielded from the realities the rest of us have to deal with every day.)
What nice people, with deep understanding of those they disagree with, eh?
The phrase "bitterly clinging to their guns and religion" might occur to you about now. Or the book What's The Matter With Kansas? Or a hundred other bits of patronising nonsense.
The Left accuses conservatives of being afraid change, of not being intelligent enough to embrace change even if that change is a bad thing. This must come from the “Just do it” philosophy that started back in the late 60's, a derivation of the “If it feels good, do it” mentality that was so prevalent back then. But we aren't afraid and never have been. Concerned? Yes. Afraid? No. It isn't conservatives who fear change.
My reading of the news is that it is liberals who fear things. They fear climate change, even though there doesn't seem to be much, and much of it might be beneficial. They fear GM foods, even though those have #deaths=0 and organic foods have #deaths=millions. Even recently, a lot. They fear even reporting human biological diversity and racial differences. They fear home schooling. They fear concealed carry and those icky people that even want to own guns. They fear free markets - okay, I grant, I fear what is (wink,wink) called the free market these days when it has enormous amounts of rent-seeking from the government. George Weigel notes the strong correlation between optimism and having children. Who's having children? Evangelicals. Mormons. Orthodox Jews. So who's afraid, here?I have no problem with change. I never have, even if at times it was distressing and threw my life into disarray. I've dealt with it my entire life and have known it was a part of life. What I don't like is change for change's sake, meaning if something works why change it unless something better comes along? But I have seen “change for change's sake” foment nothing but disaster, taking something that worked and replacing it with something so dysfunctional that it ended up destroying the very thing it was supposed to 'help'. In most cases that change wasn't well thought out, ignoring both the Law of Unintended Consequences and human nature. What's worse is that sometimes the change goes back to something that's been tried before and was a dismal failure, but those pushing for the change thought that they would get it right this time. (We're seeing that now with the election of a communist mayor in New York City. I wonder how long before he and his cronies undo all the progress that's been made and return New York to the bad old days of widespread poverty, decaying neighborhoods, and the high crime rates the 70's and 80's?) This type of change also indicates, at least to me, that the Left is afraid of the future and are seeking to return to conditions that existed in the past, even if those conditions were harsh, terrifying, and bad for everyone. Is it a case of better the devil you know than the devil you don't know?
The accusation that it is conservatives who fear the future is projection. There is enough truth in it to sustain believability in people who need only scraps to feel that they are the brave, new, vanguard of modernism when they are actually the timid ones. Yes, fearless. Speaking Truth To Power has come to mean "telling your friends what they wan[t] to hear."Yeah, it's always easy to preach to the choir. It's hard to point out the truth to those who don't want to hear it, or worse, are incapable of hearing because they have been programmed not to.
So endith the lesson.